BELLEVUE, WA – Disturbing reports in the New York Sun regarding the way certain cases are steered to the New York courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Jack Weinstein have compelled the Second Amendment Foundation to call on the 86-year-old jurist to step down.
“As the New York Sun appropriately noted in an editorial today,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb, “Judge Weinstein has a stranglehold on gun and tobacco cases in New York City. His handling of the infamous case of Hamilton v. Accu Tek, coupled with his hearing the case filed against gun makers by the NAACP indicates a pre-disposed bias that has not gone unnoticed.
“In Reason magazine, for example,” he continued, “columnist Jacob Sullum identified Judge Weinstein as ‘notorious for his activism and anti-gun bias.’ Judge Weinstein should never have taken the NAACP case simply in the interest of the appearance of fairness. According to his biography, after he graduated from law school in 1948, he worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. One might reasonably argue that he should have recused himself from that case.
“And now the New York Sun is paying considerable attention to the way cases have been steered to Judge Weinstein,” Gottlieb stated. “There is enough doubt about his impartiality that we believe it is time for him to retire his gavel, or at the very least, step aside from hearing any further gun industry lawsuit cases. In my opinion, no case involving the firearms industry or gun rights can get a fair hearing in his courtroom.
“Judge Weinstein has spent 40 years on the federal bench,” Gottlieb said. “In that time, he should have learned that justice is best served when both sides feel they are getting fair treatment from an unbiased bench. When the appearance of fairness becomes open to question, and a judge becomes known more for activism than judicial neutrality, it may be time for him to go home and write his memoirs.”